Brittney Cason, a Charlotte, N.C., radio and TV personality, was contacted by an agent about working her dream job at the Sochi Olympics.
While Cason thought she was being offered the job of a lifetime, the truth turned out to be a terrifying human trafficking scam.
“This isn’t a, ‘Woe-is-me’ story. It’s a, ‘Whoa, this really happened,’” Cason told Access Hollywood in a new interview on Wednesday.
“He assigned me for a realistic job,” she explained. “He said I was going to be doing live event hosting, which is what I was going to be doing for the past seven years, with big events that sponsors throw, and interviews with athletes.”
At first, everything seemed on the up and up.
“Not only did he seem nice, he seemed professional and knowledgeable. Everything that I interacted with him, in terms of a non-disclosure agreement, a contract — it’s all stuff I’ve seen before,” she said.
The man gave her no reason to be suspicious.
“I met him in person multiple times. We corresponded at least once a week for the past four or five months,” she said. “In terms of his accent, he sounded like a Midwestern American.”
But then, the so-called agent went too far. He asked Brittney if she had any friends who were available to work and wasn’t really concerned about their work experience.
“It just didn’t make sense that he wanted another girl that wasn’t exactly in the role that I was in to come with them, and then was more concerned about executing her work visa and getting her passport than seeing her reels,” Cason said, of when she first started suspecting something was wrong.
Still, she didn’t convince herself something was truly amiss until she had a conversation with another Charlotte reporter also hired by the same man to go to Sochi.
“We talked about cute coats we were going to bring and makeup and we were so excited and I just kind of slipped in there, I said, ‘Hey, do you think anything’s going on here?’” Brittney recounted. “And she was like, ‘Thank God you said that because I do.’ And that conversation saved us, literally saved us.”
Brittney began her own investigation and found out the man who hired her didn’t work for the company he said he represented. The FBI was contacted just in the nick of time.
“I didn’t see any red flags until about two weeks before I was supposed to leave for Sochi. And I didn’t get the word that it was a scam until three days before I was supposed to get on the plane and go,” she said.
The investigation is still ongoing and Brittney cannot talk about the details. But the fact that she was caught up in a real life “Taken,” the film where Liam Neeson’s daughter is abducted by human traffickers, has opened her eyes.
“You think that’s something that happens in Liam Neeson movies. You don’t think that’s something that happens in America and I’m standing here to tell you it does happen,” she told Access.